Stovetop espresso makers are an affordable, easy way to make espresso at home. All you’ll need to use one is a heating element, ground coffee, and water, and they come in a range of sizes and designs.
If you want to make lattes and Americanos at home, the reviews and buying guide here will help you find the right one for you!
After a lot of testing (and many, many espressos), we’ve compiled the ultimate list of the best stovetop espresso makers. Your perfect espresso maker is one of them, guaranteed.
The Bellemain Stovetop Espresso Maker uses aluminum instead of stainless steel. It’s still durable enough to stand up to standard wear and tear, but lighter-weight, with a coating to make sure you won’t taste anything but your coffee.
Its smart design also features a stay-cool knob and handle, so you won’t burn yourself while you’re making your cup. There’s also a valve to keep the pot from overheating if you get distracted mid-brew and forget it’s on the burner.
The silver chrome finish on the BonVIVO Intenca Stovetop Espresso Maker is both appealing to the eye and easy to keep looking good. Underneath the chrome, you’ll find an all-steel construction.
It’s a versatile brewer, as well, usable as a percolator or a stovetop espresso maker. Throw in some raw sugar with the grounds and you can also make Cuban coffee.
The BonVIVO Intenca can be used on any kind of stove, too, from gas and electric ranges to ceramic cooktops and even portable electric hot pads.
The Primula Aluminum Espresso Maker is an affordable way to make delicious espresso at home. With the capacity to make 3 espresso drinks in each batch, it’s the perfect size for a couple or single user.
You’ll still get all the same safety features that you’ll find on higher-priced models, too, including a pressure release valve, a no-burn handle, and a flip-top lid with a heat-safe knob.
If you want Italian espresso, why not go straight to the source? Bialetti products are built to traditional standards in Italy, the birthplace of the brewing method.
This Bialetti Express Moka Pot uses the classic octagonal shape and patented Bialetti pressure valve system for delicious coffee every time. We also appreciate the handle design, which makes it easier to pour without brushing your fingers on the hot metal.
The eye-catching design of the Grosche Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker makes it the perfect pot to use when you’re entertaining. The soft-touch rubber handle and knob have a woodgrain finish that pairs nicely with the white exterior.
It’s not just for looks, either. The burn guard prevents your fingers from brushing the Moka pot. Inside, the silicon gasket seal and Italian-style valve keep the pressure in the pot just right for a truly flavorful cup.
This affordable and compact Imusa USA Stovetop Coffeemaker is perfect for travel, or to keep at your desk at the office. Its cool-touch handle is comfortable and safe, even if you’re pouring right after brewing. We also love how easy it is to take apart and clean.
In addition, the smaller size makes it more versatile to different heating elements, so you can use it anywhere.
The Primula Stainless Steel Stovetop Espresso Maker is both durable and dishwasher safe. It uses a handle design that’s both ergonomic and easier to pour.
Thanks to the unique swooped shape of the knob, you can hold the lid shut while you’re pouring, without using your second hand. You can brew a batch up in minutes on both gas and electric ranges and it keeps your coffee hot, too, so it’s great for entertaining.
The green finish and woodgrain accents on the Narce Stovetop Espresso Maker will make it a conversation piece at your next gathering. It’s the perfect size for 4 people and is built to go anywhere.
You can even take it with you camping since it works on portable stoves. The top uses the traditional octagonal design that gives Italian stovetop espresso makers their balanced, rich flavor.
On the opposite end of the aesthetic spectrum, here’s a straightforward stovetop espresso maker from Ilsa. It might be the most rugged stovetop espresso maker out there, thanks to the stainless steel construction and straightforward design. It also uses a high-quality silicone gasket on the basket to limit leaks.
The off-set knob lets you pour one-handed or easily flip the top open. It’s incredibly compact, too, perfect for kitchens that don’t have a lot of space for storage.
This Godmorn Stovetop Espresso Maker is an excellent value, especially when you consider its 6-cup capacity and stainless steel construction. The high shine on the exterior gives it a nice eye appeal, too.
On a more practical side, you’ll appreciate the care given to the handle and knob design. The handle is curved to better fit your hand, with an off-set knob so you don’t need both hands to pour.
The elegant black finish on this Vremi Stovetop Espresso Maker means it’s another one you’ll be proud to bring out to the table at your next dinner party. It’ll make 6 demitasse cups in about 5 minutes, and the lower diameter base lets it work even on smaller burners or portable stoves.
We also love how aromatic the coffee brewed in the Vremi is, something that’s enhanced by its octagonal design.
One thing we love about this Zeroomade Stovetop Espresso Maker is that it narrows as it goes up. This means a smaller opening and less chance of your coffee going cold before you drink it. The stainless steel build helps with this, too.
If you want to pour right away, its handle and knob design prevent burns and allow for safe pouring. The precision tooling on the threads also helps form a better seal, limiting pressure leaks and grounds in your final cup.
The Coffee Gator Stovetop Espresso machine follows the classic Italian model from top to bottom. This starts with 8-sided chambers that provide more even heat dispersion and a better final taste and aroma.
We also appreciate the burn guard on the handle, which stops your fingers from making contact with the pot. With 2 vacuum insulated cups included, this set is perfect for RVs and campers who want high-quality coffee on the road.
The Sasso Moka Pot Espresso Maker is our winner for most unique design. The wide base and narrow top make it more stable and limit heat loss through the lid and spout.
You’ll still get the benefits of traditional octagonal shapes, though, in terms of both consistent heat and flavorful aroma. The wood grain design on the ergonomic soft-touch handles compliments this modern styling beautifully.
The handle of the Yabano Stovetop Espresso Maker isn’t just heat-resistant, it’s flame retardant. That makes it an even safer choice for use on gas stoves, or over campfires. In addition, it’s built of a higher grade of aluminum than many affordable Moka pots.
As long as you clean it after each use, the Yabano Stovetop Espresso Maker can last you for decades. The highly-effective steam valve and heat regulation mean it brews a pot faster, too, in as little as 3 minutes.
Here’s another take on the traditional design. The Oggi Stovetop Espresso Maker is made of cast aluminum with an octagonal shape and narrow spout. Coffee brewed with this espresso maker has a rich body and smooth texture, and stays nice and hot until you’re ready to drink it.
While the handle is a bit tight to the body for our tastes, it is comfortable to hold and doesn’t get hot during brewing.
The LuxHaus Stovetop Espresso maker has a very classy look, and it backs that up with a high-quality build. The high-quality stainless steel used for it won’t flake off, corrode, or rust like cheaper metals.
Its wide base allows for fast heating and brewing, even on lower-power portable stoves. We’re also a fan of the handle design, which is comfortable to pour even when it’s fresh from the burner.
Here’s a slightly different design from Italian coffee masters Bialetti. The Kitty Espresso Coffee Maker has a stainless steel construction and a wide base for better heat diffusion and stability.
There’s also a good amount of room under the handle—no burning your fingertips with this espresso maker. You can use it on any kind of stove, and when you’re done its parts are dishwasher safe, so it’s a convenient choice for any home.
The precision construction on the Cuisinox Roma Stovetop Moka pot means fewer leaks, less heat loss, and a long-lasting lifespan. Every Roma Espresso Maker is hand-crafted to ensure consistent quality.
While it can make up to 4 cups, it comes with a reducer so you can also use it to make smaller batches. Along with durability, the all-steel build gives it a very attractive shine, and it’s versatile enough to use on any heating surface.
Bialetti is the master of the stovetop espresso world, so it’s no surprise we’ve got a few on this list. The Bialetti Venus is a sleek 4-cup model that’s safe to use on induction burners, as well as other heating sources. It’s well-sealed to reduce leaks, pressure loss, or heat loss.
The smooth-walled shape gives you a smoother finish in your brewed espresso, with an easy-pour and heat-resistant handle for safety.
Never heard of stovetop espresso? While this brewing method isn’t as common as it used to be, it’s a great way to make espresso drinks easily at home. Like other espresso machines, it uses a combination of heat and pressure to extract flavor from the grounds.
It uses less pressure, however—about 1.5 bars, as opposed to the 9 bars generated by commercial espresso machines. This results in a brew that’s less concentrated than true espresso but stronger than drip or French press.
The pressure in a stovetop espresso machine is created by steam. As the water in the lower chamber heats, it expands and starts looking for an outlet. This forces it up through the filter basket, where it extracts flavor from the grounds, finally ending up in the upper chamber as brewed coffee.
This method of brewing is similar to the way a percolator works. It produces a stronger and better-tasting brew than a percolator, however, both because it generates more pressure and because the contact between the water and the grounds is limited, giving you fewer of those back-end bitter notes.
A stovetop espresso maker is one of the most convenient ways to brew espresso. It doesn’t require any training or knowledge, first of all, and the only specialized equipment you’ll need is the Moka pot itself.
Want to know how easy it is? Read through these simple steps:
At the end of the brewing process, you may want to wrap the bottom chamber in a chilled, damp towel. This will stop the extraction process, preventing you from getting bitter or metallic tastes in your final cup.
You’ll probably hear professional baristas say you need an espresso machine to make true espresso. This is true to an extent, but functionally it depends on what you’re looking for from the coffee you drink.
As we mentioned above, a Moka pot doesn’t reach the same pressure levels as a commercial espresso machine. This is why the brew time is longer. An espresso machine brews a shot in around 30 seconds. For stovetop espresso, that stretches to an average of 5 minutes after heating to get the same concentrated brew.
The resulting brew has a similar taste and texture to what you’ll get from an espresso machine. The biggest difference is that when you brew with a stovetop espresso maker, you won’t get any crema. Crema is the lighter, creamy layer you’ll see sitting on top of a brewed shot, and is highly prized by many espresso aficionados.
If you want to make latte art in your beverages—or just love the taste of crema—you’ll unfortunately need to shell out the extra money to get yourself a true espresso machine. For most coffee drinkers, though, the strength of the brew is mostly what they’re looking for from espresso.
This is especially true if you typically mix it with milk and sugar, or dilute it with water to make an Americano. In those cases, the crema of a true espresso will be mixed into the drink anyway and not particularly noticeable. A stovetop espresso maker will give you the same approximate drinking experience.
Stovetop espresso makers are as easy to clean as they are to brew. While some stainless steel models can be washed in the dishwasher, the best option for aluminum models is handwashing with dish soap. To be honest, it’s a relatively quick process, so even if you have a stainless steel model handwashing is often preferred.
There’s a myth that you shouldn’t wash a Moka pot because the layer of oils prevents you from tasting the metal. The truth is, these coffee deposits can spoil, burn, and lead to oxidation of the pot. The best way to get fresh-tasting coffee is to clean your stovetop espresso maker after every use.
The first espresso machine was patented in 1884, by Italian inventor Angelo Moriondo. His main aim was to speed up the coffee brewing process using steam. These early espresso machines used the same 1.5 bars of pressure generated by today’s Moka pots, so in a sense they’re a more accurate representation of what the first espresso would have tasted like.
In the early 20th century, Moriondo’s steam-brewing idea was explored further by two notable figures: Luigi Bezzera and Alfonso Bialetti. Bezzera based his work on the design Moriondo had patented, improving it through additions like the portafilter and group head system. This ultimately resulted in the espresso machine that brews straight into a cup, like those in use today.
Bialetti went a different direction with his design. He took the idea of steam brewing and condensed it down into a convenient home brewer. An aluminum worker by trade, he was inspired by boilers used at that time for washing clothes. These featured a central pipe that drew hot water from a basin, a similar design to what you’ll find inside a Moka pot.
Bialetti’s goal was to allow home drinkers to enjoy espresso “in casa come al bar”—just as good at home as what you’d get at a café.
Bialetti patented his design in 1933. Most of today’s Moka pots look almost identical to these 1930s versions, with a distinctive 8-sided shape Bialetti based on coffee service sets popular in Italy at the time. Commercial espresso machines took a bit longer to reach the form you’ll see today, which are based on the piston-driven machines invented in the 1960s.
You can use any roast or origin of bean. Generally speaking, however, darker roasts work best to get the strong flavor most people look for from a Moka pot. This is primarily because these roasts have less acid.
The quick brewing used in espresso can make the taste too bright and sour if you use a lighter roast.
Espresso refers to the process used for brewing, not the coffee itself. You may see coffee for sale labeled as an “espresso roast,” but that just means it’s designed to taste its best as espresso. You won’t get espresso just by brewing these beans.
While various coffee associations have different specific definitions of “true espresso,” you can more generally think of it as a highly-concentrated shot of coffee brewed under pressure.
Aluminum is the traditional metal used in Moka pots. This was largely out of necessity; Italy had an embargo on stainless steel when Bialetti was designing his invention.
Most modern coffee drinkers prefer stainless steel because it’s more durable and less likely to add a metallic taste to the brew. said, aluminum pots are lighter and tend to be less expensive, which can make them a better option for travelers.
Coffee measurements can be confusing. The number of cups listed on a stovetop espresso machine is not equivalent to the US measurement. Instead, it’s how many demitasse cups can be filled. Demitasse cups are the small cups used to serve espresso in coffee shops.
While their exact capacity varies, for measurement purposes it’s equivalent to 4 ounces.